The Local Economy Futures Model (LEFM) is a forecasting and economic impact tool developed specifically for the U.S. market to help decision-makers and strategic investors estimate the potential impact of future economic trends, policies and investments on their local economies.
The model has a strong theoretical underpinning, incorporating the latest thinking on factors determining local and regional economic competitiveness, yet at the same time is grounded in ‘real world’ empirical evidence.
LEFM can be configured for local areas (cities and counties), regions and metro areas, as well as states or multi-state areas to address a wide-range of policy topics including infrastructure and transportation, workforce and skills, climate change and clean energy, taxes and public finance, or local economic development projects.
- ability to focus on the medium and long-term: annual time series results for all indicators to 2050
- a baseline projection consistent with underlying macroeconomic trends against which alternative scenarios can be compared
- a high degree of sectoral and other detail (64 industries, 23 occupations), with a wide-range of economic and demographic variables across employment, wages, output, productivity, etc.
- innovative treatment of the supply-side competitiveness grounding the intellectual rigor of evolutionary economic geography in ‘real world’ experience
Local competitiveness is determined by more than just costs of production. In LEFM, agglomeration, sectoral clustering, and the knowledge economy – both through the skills of the workforce and the ‘knowledge’ content within products – all have a role in determining long-term economic competitiveness and performance. Their relative importance varies between sectors and across places.
In LEFM, these forces and other behavioral responses emerge from the data – through past experiences – rather than being heavily reliant on theoretical assumptions.